("What's the Buzz" has been relocated to the more logical spot of Thursday, so half this post is a rerun from Sunday. Terribly sorry for the deja vu, m'dear.)
Weekly Recommendations: Crunchy Pea and the Icky Chicken
Thursday, July 24
Post Falls Singer/Songwriter Tim Nagle relocated from Chicago to Idaho for some unexplainable reason several years ago. I discovered his music on MySpace last year and thought it was pretty darned good. There's this cool rocker dude who works where I do and for months I've been wondering to myself "Who is that cool rocker dude?" Researching this week's music calendar, I saw that Tim Nagle is playing Calypso's Coffee Shop tonight (with Mike Lykins) and whilst re-investigating his website it clicked: Hey. Tim Nagle is the rocker dude from work. Tim's emotive pop-rock reflects the obvious musical influence of classic acts including Oasis, Tim Buckley and the Beatles. Anyway a video clip of Tim in action so you'll have an idea of what to expect before you head downtown tonight at 7:30 to catch his show.
Friday, July 25
Booze of the Week: Dr. McGillicuddy's Fireball is a Cinnamon Whiskey Liqueur that reminds me of fiery goofball Lucille Ball for two reasons. A. her maiden name on "I Love Lucy" was McGillicuddy, and B. because after a few shots, you'll be acting as goofy as Lucy under the influence of Vitameatavegamin. It's sweet like hundreds of melted Red Hot candies and tastes best right out of the freezer on a summer evening with reggae on the iPod shuffle and pork ribs sizzling on the grill. It's our booze of the week and tonight is the perfect night to invite other kids over to your house for some BBQ action and to investigate a frosty bottle. Check out the Albertson's deli for the side dishes. I think they make some of the best deli salads around, and my favorite is the Crunchy Pea salad, which is peas and cauliflower with bacon bits and a light sour cream dressing. I also completely dig the Chicken Cilantro Pasta Salad and don't forget to stock up on the green pistachio marshmallow foam.
Saturday, July 26
Not to date myself too much, but I remember when they used to have the annual Coeur d'Alene Tribal Pow Wow every year on the soccer field at NIC. Back then, it was pretty small and the awkward-to-pronounce name "Julyamsh" hadn't been adopted yet. Nowadays, the Pow Wow is a huge festival, one of the largest of it's kind in the country, so big that only the mighty Greyhound Race Track in Post Falls can contain it. Tribal members pour in from all over the place to celebrate their heritage through music, dancing and food and remind everyone who was here first. The event is open to everyone and is free of charge, but parking will cost you five bucks. Here's a nice little video from last years festivities:
Sunday, July 27
The Haggard Willies hold "Sunday Service" each and every weekend all summer long at 8 p.m. at the Iron Horse. The Spokane-based quartet cowboy up the rowdy Horse crowd with a sound they creatively describe as "A couple drunk jazz musicians falling down a long flight of stairs." Actually, they more like a Rockabilly twist on modern Toby Keith-style country than the traditional twang the name "Haggard Willies" might indicate. They seem to employ just enough irony to make them hip enough to appeal to the Iron Horse crowd, most of whom probably wouldn't make a habit of hanging out at real country bars like Big Al's or the Slab Inn. Thier MySpace says the band's main influences are Jack Daniels, Wild Turkey, Kokanee, Tequila, and Keystone and there will be plenty of all of the above available for the enjoyment of both band and audience. Preview the Haggard Willies via the magic of YouTube:
Monday, July 28
On your way to work today, you ought to swing by and see the latte hot-tay girls at Lean Bean Espresso hut on Sherman Ave. in front of Peterson's Grocery. Not only will you get some of the best coffee drinks around, you'll be reducing your "carbon footprint" as well, since Lean Bean has gone green. They now use recycled eco-friendly cups and napkins and also serve up a line of all-natural organic coffee by Thomas Hammer Roasting Co. They offer a full menu of yummy Bagel sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies bigger than your face and their prices beat the other coffee huts by far. My favorite Lean Bean coffee drink is their Mexican Mocha, which has a rich cinnamon undertone along with a thick, dark chocolateiness. That bean ain't so lean - it's certainly not a diet beverage. It must contain enough sugar to cause seizures in chinchillas, but is a wonderful occasional indulgence and combined with 3 shots of strong Java will get set alight the long wick of your work week: Bang!
Tuesday, July 29
In The Don't Even Bother Department: One place I likely won't be visiting today or anytime soon is the Chicken Basket on Northwest Boulevard near the skatepark in Cd'A. I finally checked the place out recently, after months of waiting and curiosity since the sign first appeared on the old railroad depot, and I was not impressed. The tragic part is, when I googled them searching for a menu, the first thing that came up was a real estate ad: "Turn key business for sale, everything included." Yep, they've only been open a few months and the owner is already trying to unload it. I'm not surprised they're suffering considering the less-than-stellar experience I had there. I don't have the heart to write a full review of the sad place and make them suffer in print - I'm just not that cruel. Anyway, the counter girl had a look on her face that said "I'd rather die than have to stand here taking orders from you assholes." I ordered a chicken strips basket to go. The menu indicated it would include fries, coleslaw and a dinner roll for $7.99 - the price seemed a little steep, but I pictured a lot of food. During the nearly 15 minute wait for my food, the only other customer, a very deaf old man, struck up a conversation with me. "You ever tried this place before?" I kept having to repeat myself 3-4 times before he could understand my replies. "Better be pretty damn good" he concluded, and rightly so since he'd been waiting even longer than me. When Ms. WannaDie finally handed me my dinner, it was in the form of a suspiciously small paper box.
I got home and opened it up to find a ream of wax paper containing a small handful of cold unsalted french fries and two flat , dark brown chicken filets. No cole slaw, no roll. That evil witch forgot to include my coleslaw and dinner roll, and I was already home, too hungry to go back and complain. So pissy. The chicken was overcooked to the point of tasting charred. The crusty old Safeway deli does better chicken strips and at a fraction of the cost. They do offer family sized buckets of "broiled" (they tout this repeatedly as if it were somehow amazing and special) chicken, but take my advice, skip the Chicken Basket and head for some good old fashioned Chester Fried at Peterson's Grocery Deli on East Sherman (wow, two mentions in one week...)
Wednesday, July 30
There's never anything much worth getting gussied up for on Wednesday nights and that's fine with me because I'm way caught up in the new season of Bravo TV's Project Runway (Tonight at 9 p.m., Time-Warner channel 66). There's no fierce young genius scene stealing divas on par with last years big winner, Christian Siriano ("Hot Tranny Mess"), although painfully tanorexic Yakima resident Blayne has been working hard to coin this season's catchphrase ("Girlicious"? I like Suede's "wackadoodle" much better.) My early fave is last week's winner Kelli, who had turned vaccuum cleaner bags into couture with bleach and ink. I also have to admit my love for leatha-lovah Stella, a gritty New york designer who comes of like a cross between Lou Reed and Elvira and has designed stage wear for Debbie Harry and Joan Jett. She was almost auf-ed last week when her plan to use plastic trash bags backfired and forced her to send something pretty awful down the runway. I'm anxious to see what she can whip up given better materials, but she's got some intense competition ahead of her - all this years designers have at least a grain of potential. Plus, host/mentor Tim Gunn is amazingly wonderful as usual.
What kind of wine, cheese and chocolate goes good as a snack whilst sucked into the world of amateur fashion? Stop and ask the experts at Daanen's Deli in Hayden, they have an intense selection of nibbly bits to supply your PR party guests.